After playing a clip in which Patrick talks about the adjectives she's been described with throughout her racing (and advertising) career, Shimabuku said, "I've got a few words. It's starts with a 'b' and it's not beautiful."
Shimabuku subsequently apologized for the remarks on Tuesday.
This isn't the first time in February that an anchor has been suspended over comments about a high-profile athlete. ESPN anchor Max Bretos was suspended for 30 days after using the phrase "chink in his armor" in a conversation with Walt Frazer about Jeremy Lin. A similar phrase was also used in a headline on ESPN's mobile website, and the editor who wrote the headline was fired.
And while Shimabuku is at San Diego's Fox affiliate and Bretos is at ESPN, it is interesting to note the discrepancy in suspension lengths for the two anchors, especially given that Bretos' was in the course of an unscripted, on-air conversation and that Shimabuku's line was clearly premeditated. And frankly, quite stupid.
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- Danica Patrick